The consequence of crude oil pollution on the sediments in the mangrove rhizosphere in the Niger Delta environment was examined in this study. Propagules of Rhizophora racemosa name of the author of species (red mangrove) were sown in plastic buckets containing 10 kg sediment, polluted with different concentrations (0%, 5%, 10%, 15% and 20%) of Bonny light crude oil, on weight/volume basis. Sediment samples from these buckets were analysed every six months over a period of twenty-four months for their physio-chemical contents. Sediment and water samples were also collected in the months of January (dry season) and July (wet season), for two consecutive years (2011 and 2012), from mangrove rhizosphere in situ at 0-15 cm depth, from three locations (two areas of extensive oil activities and one devoid of oil activities) in the Niger Delta. The samples collected were also analysedfor their physical and chemical contents. A comprehensive questionnaire schedule was also administered to respondents in communities close to the areas where the sediment and samples were obtained. The study showed that the mangrove ecosystem in the Niger Delta has been adversely affected by oil activities as the samples analysed showed high levels of heavy metals which compared well with 15% crude oil concentration in the controlled experiment. The study also showed that besides the decline in farm produce and fish stock, it has also impacted negatively on women (it has affected their means of livelihood) in the region with serious implications for environmental sustainability.
Keywords: Crude oil, pollution, environment.